Maison 10, an exciting and innovative gallery and boutique project from the minds of co-founders Tom Blackie, Henri Myers, and Carsten Klein, opened in June 2016. For the trio of founders, ten is the magic number, as the space operates in ten-week cycles, each centered on ten featured works by a particular artist, alongside ten different product categories, each with ten carefully selected items. Customers can also choose one of ten different charities to which ten percent of the proceeds of their purchase will be donated. Maison 10 combines the founders’ shared love of art, culture, and philanthropy. Despite its bare bones appearance, the storefront is bound to catch the pedestrian eye, or perhaps first their nose with sage burning out front. When Manhattan Sideways stopped by, the wall on the side of the building featured a striped mural, which we learned is repainted every ten weeks by the newest featured artist. The shop is minimally decorated with white display tables showcasing a colorful array of products. It is clear that the room is meant to be rearranged every ten weeks, and that the items on display speak for themselves. The window display rotates even more frequently, changing daily at four pm. “It’s all about engaging with customers. We like to keep it fresh, and the opposite of formulaic, ” Tom remarked with a laugh. The only constant presence in the store is the large statue of a gorilla sitting in the back corner, overseeing the boutique. The founders’ wide range of backgrounds and experiences give Maison 10 the worldly quality it effortlessly seems to possess. Henri, who is originally from New York but has spent quality time in Los Angeles, has spent most of his professional career working in fashion marketing and branding development, attending trade shows, and cultivating a keen sense of taste. Tom, who hails from Scotland, cut his teeth working in the London non-profit sector, learning the intricacies of how charitable institutions operate. Carsten, who is of German origin, is the visual thinker of the group, working mostly in typography, packaging, interior and web design. The three have each made New York their home and describe their shop as “a mixture of all our worlds put together. ” By combining their skills of curation, altruism, and design, these men have created a space dedicated to ethical consumerism. So, why ten? In addition to being a good number for design and numerology, ten has a nostalgic connection for the team. “When all three of us were teens, growing up in our different cities, we were music freaks, and we would run to the record stores every week to keep track of the top ten charts, ” Henri recalled. Similarly, the diverse selection of gifts, fine art, and lifestyle items ranging from candles and books to handmade jewelry appears to be the best of the best. “With only ten categories and ten products, we’ve already pre-selected the best items, and they all have a story, ” Henri noted as he moved between a fruit bowl made from copper and walnuts to a bag made from authentic Japanese satin. “It mostly comes down to personal taste. These are the things we love and feel should be on everyone’s radar. It’s about introducing the customer to an experience one on one. We want to bring back shopping. ” Henri mentioned how important it is that Maison 10 offers products at a wide range of prices, so as not to alienate any potential customers, “We wanted to make it so that you could come in and find a $15 book, a $600 bag, or even a $7, 000 piece of art. ”Nine out of the ten charitable organizations to which the men donate remain fixed throughout the year. The tenth changes with the cycle and is chosen by the designer. The fixed charities are mostly found through personal connections thanks to Tom’s work experience in the non-profit world, and thus are largely New York- and London-based. The impressive list contains local favorites like Housing Works, which is dedicated to fighting the dual crises of homelessness and AIDS, and SAGE, which supports LGBT elderly nationwide. There are also world humanitarian causes including Orange Babies, an Amsterdam-based organization that advocates for HIV positive pregnant women throughout Africa. The Manhattan Sideways team visited right around the first anniversary of Maison 10's opening, and Tom was pleased to report that the business was doing well after its first year. “It keeps getting busier and busier; people love the concept and we’ve definitely gained some super fans who come in every two or three days. " The founders told us that many people who live in the vicinity come in on a regular basis to introduce the shop to their friends. The men are thrilled that they are on their way to becoming a "strong community" - "We believe in our project and we believe that it’s good for the street too. ” They have already collaborated with their neighbors, such as Yeohlee Teng, whose work was featured during a cycle. The team is also working directly with designers on future products, including an original fragrance by Henri himself. Events are a regular part of Maison 10's cyclical process, with launch and closing parties every ten weeks that boast several hundred guests over the course of the night. Additionally, the shop hosts “Friday Night Live” which features five of the designers and five display islands organized by category. These provide an opportunity for customers to interact with the artist or designer, adding a personal touch to the consumer experience. At each of these events, Tom, Henri, and Carsten can be seen in their signature black jumpsuits.
What happens when a parole officer and high school teacher quit their jobs to start a clothing store? You get Ibiza NYC, a shop as colorful and free spirited as its owners. Chrystyna Hordijenko a Johnny Husiak opened Ibiza after vacationing there two years earlier. The pair was taken by the island's jet-setting glamour and "sex, drugs, and rock-and-roll style nightlife, " which they wanted to bring back to New York. Both knew that their career shifts were significant but right, as they were still able to recall what they thought to themselves as they made the leap: "This is so much more interesting. "Though they have been business partners for over forty years, their friendship dates back even further. Chrystyna and Johnny met at nine and twelve years old as neighbors living in Little Ukraine, a subset of the East Village. In the beginning, the bold colors and textiles characteristic of Ukrainian clothing informed the store's style. With customers like Meryl Streep, Whoopi Goldberg, and Susan Sarandon, they evidently succeeded in preserving the glamour that inspired the shop's inception decades earlier. Certainly not an unfamiliar tale to many businesses, but Ibiza might win the prize for having moved the most times while still managing to survive. After some thirty-five years, Johnny and Chrystyna relocated from University Place to Broadway across form the The Strand bookstore in 2009. They were there for five years and then settled in Tribeca for about four years. They uprooted again in 2018 for what they consider to be the best retail block in the East Village. "Basically, we've been retail nomads since about 2009 but we're quite happy where we are now, and thankfully, business is definitely picking up, " Johnny commented. Upon their move to East 9th, their style drifted from Ibiza's 1970s nightlife toward modern Indian-inspired styles. The store's everyday clientele, however, reflects its lasting appeal, as Chrystyna and Johhny report that they still dress customers from the shop's earlier days who have returned with their own children.
Smiling, a lovely woman said "I just saw your window, and had to come in. " She was intrigued by the beautiful hat display at Susan van der Linde's current location on 67th Street. She walked around, flirting with a few different styles before finding her way out, promising to return. "It is fantastic to be on the ground level, " Susan said delightedly. She went on to tell me that she worked as a seamstress on the second floor in the Lombardy Hotel and formally opened her label on the fourth floor of a building on 57th Street in 1995. Relocated to 67th in 2014, her small boutique is certainly a standout with its well-crafted styles and warm personal service. The interior of the shop boasts a clean, museum-like light system, a neutral backdrop, and attractive shelving, allowing the focus to be on the colorful and textured fashions. From her wide-brimmed hat made of horsehair and straw, with a luscious navy silk bow, to her round-crowned chapeau of organically draped brown sinamay, each of Susan's creations is innovative with stylish whim. Though known for hats, she also sells a classic loafer, which comes in many colors, and is fabricated in Italy with a comfortable vibram sole. In 2012, bags and clothes were added to the collection. I could not help but run my fingers over a vibrant orange handbag made of water buffalo leather. Sewing clothing since the age of ten and receiving formal training at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), Susan first became "infected with the passion of making hats" when she apprenticed under the esteemed Milliner Don Marshall in Paris. "He taught me that hats have to look like human hands never touched them, " Susan explained. "No stitches should show. And to never underestimate what I learn from a client, to always adapt. " When the beehive style became popular during the 1960s and hat wearing phased out, Don Marshall was one to make intricate fascinators and veiled caplets, adjusting to his clientele. When Susan meets a client, she is always looking for clues. In contrast to autopilot salesmen, who fit customers to their hats, Susan fits her hats to her customers, a luxury achieved by being a small business with the designer on premise, sewing away downstairs. "If someone likes a style they see here, but she wants it in acid green, I can do that. " A person going on a safari will need a wrap-around, so the hat does not blow off. "I love seeing my client's lifestyle, " Susan clarified when discussing her trunk shows, "it tells me what she needs. " And Susan most certainly complies.
After my lively conversation with Gary Scheiner next door at Gentlemen's Resale, who got his start at Designer Revival thanks to the original owner - his mother-in-law - I was eager to pay a visit to the upscale women's consignment shop. I was met by Tiffany Keriakos, who took over as owner in the spring of 2015, despite having no experience in the consignment/fashion world. Coming from a beauty marketing background, Tiffany chose to begin her new career after having her first child. "I've always wanted to have my own store, " she said with a broad smile. Tiffany clearly has a great deal of respect for Myrna Skoller, the woman who began the shop as "Designer Resale" in the early nineties. Myrna was considered a pioneer in a neighborhood that is now filled with consignment stores. She wrote a book, published in 2013, about her experience, titled "Miracle on 81st Street: Designer Resale - A Girl's Dream. " Tiffany, who shopped at the store for many years before taking over, described Myrna as a "spunky, sexy seventy-four-year-old" and gushed about her role in the resale community. Tiffany has kept most of Myrna's tried and true consignment policies. Like Myrna, she continues to carry a combination of high end and casual garments. Tiffany, however, has plans to make some significant changes to the boutique. Along with tweaking the name to make it sound a little more hip, she is renovating the enormous, 4, 000 square foot space so that each room features one type of clothing (coats, tops, shoes, etc. ). She wants people to be able to find things easily and have a good time simply walking around. "It's cozier than your average store, " she said, adding, "The experience of walking in is enjoyable here. " Tiffany has also shifted the rooms around, turning the old office into a photo studio. In warmer months, she looks forward to using the small garden in the back for events. Because of the size of her store and the significant amount of storage space, Tiffany welcomes items from every season all year round. When I asked what she felt her target audience to be, Tiffany replied "anyone from twenty-one to eighty, " covering recent college graduates who need work clothes to women on a pension who still like to go shopping. Her stock changes almost daily. She informed me that everything, including the Chanel bag I was ogling, has been verified by an authenticator. "It's accessible luxury, " Tiffany said, adding, "It's a glamorous treasure hunt. "